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Northampton Community Energy Scheme

Rolton Kilbride, a collaboration between Northamptonshire based Rolton Group and Kilbride Infrastructure is to investigate options for a Community Energy Scheme for Northampton.

The company is working with Northamptonshire County Council to investigate the feasibility of a scheme that would create decentralised energy (off-grid) power and heat for Northampton. Energy created could be offered at reduced price locally and distributed directly to specific locations in the town. The company has been granted first permission to investigate a potential scheme at the Westbridge Depot by Northampton Borough Council.

Rolton Kilbride is a collaboration between longstanding Northamptonshire engineering company The Rolton Group, and Kilbride Infrastructure, which specialises in development and infrastructure projects. The two organisations have come together to explore the potential for a community energy project in Northampton.

The company is now working on a feasibility study to look into potential for the scheme. No definitive plans have been made, and it is expected that this study will last for around six months. A consultation process is now underway to invite feedback and input from the community. The consultation process will begin in January 2015.

Rolton Kilbride is exploring options for a modern Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT) process called gasification, where waste is baked, rather than burned. The result is much cleaner power and heat. The project could potentially include a materials recycling facility, turning any non-recyclable waste into power and heat for the local community but ensuring that all recyclable waste is dealt with as a priority.

A central location would mean that heat generated through the scheme has the potential to be used by the local community and power can be fed directly to key sites in Northampton with minimal wastage. Rolton Kilbride will also investigate the possibility of a community interest energy company to act as the delivery vehicle for the power and heat.

Any vision for the future will include regenerating the whole site, and the company will be creating a regeneration master plan to ensure the site is developed in the best way. This kind of project could result in both savings through reducing the costs associated with landfill, and a new income stream for the community via the potential of selling energy directly to the community.

Peter Rolton, Chairman of Rolton Kilbride said: “This could be a truly innovative project for Northampton, creating energy through using non-recyclable waste. This project could offer Northampton local energy, and a real alternative to established energy providers. We are still at very early stages of the project, and keen to work closely with the community.”

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